ESV - 1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
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Greek: pistis (G4102) is used to define faith, confidence, faithfulness, trust, pledge of good faith. Used 244 times. Translated belief (2Th. 2:13); fidelity (Tit. 2:10); assurance (Acts 17:31); and faith 239 times (Heb. 11:1-39; 12:2; etc.). This use of the present tense indicates that faith must be continued in to receive its benefits in the future (Acts 14:22; Eph. 6:16; Col. 1:23; 2:5-7 1Th. 5:8; 1Tim. 2:15; 3:9; 6:12; 2Tim. 3:8; 4:7; Tit. 1:13; Heb. 10:23-38 2Pet. 1:5-10). It can be lost (Lk. 8:13 1Tim. 1:19; 4:1; 5:8, 12; 6:10,21; 2Tim. 2:18; 3:8; Jude 1:3; Rev. 2:13). ☞ Eighteen Definitions of Faith 1. Substance of things hoped for (Heb. 11:1) 2. Evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11:1,7) 3. Invisible backing of elders (Heb. 11:2) 4. Creative power of divine works (Heb. 11:3) 5. Divine testimony of right doing (Heb. 11:4) 6. Cancellation of natural laws (Heb. 11:5) 7. Basis of pleasing God (Heb. 11:6) 8. Dependence upon God's word (Heb. 11:7) 9. Trust in an unknown future (Heb. 11:8-10) 10. Counting things that be not as though they were (Heb. 11:11-12 Rom. 4:17) 11. Seeing invisible things (Heb. 11:13-16) 12. Assurance of God's faithfulness (Heb. 11:17-19; 10:23) 13. Confidence in things to come (Heb. 11:20-31; 3:6,14; 10:35; Eph. 3:12; 1Jn. 3:21) 14. Stimulus of the Christian faith (Heb. 11:32--Heb. 12:2) 15. The life-blood of the just (Heb. 10:38) 16. Shield of Christian armor (Eph. 6:16) 17. Down payment of things desired (Heb. 3:6,12-14; 6:11-12; 10:22-23,35-39) 18. Guarantee of answered prayer (Mt. 21:22; Mk. 11:22-24 Heb. 11:6; Jas. 1) ☞ Bible admonishes us to have twelve kinds of things that NOT yet seen: 1. Restoration of all things (Acts 3:21) 2. Invisible things (Rom. 1:20) 3. Things of the Spirit (Rom. 8:5) 4. Things to come (Rom. 8:38) 5. Things prepared for us (1Cor. 2:9) 6. Eternal things (2Cor. 4:18) 7. Things in heaven (Php. 2:10) 8. Things under the earth (Php. 2:10) 9. Future things (Php. 3:13) 10. Things above (Col. 3:1-2) 11. The Lord (1Pet. 1:8; 1Tim. 6:16) 12. Final salvation (Rom. 8:24-25 1Pet. 1:5,9,13)
I'm glad you asked. We read in Hebrews 11:1(Life Application Bible Notes), two words describe our faith: confidence and certainty. These two qualities need a secure beginning and ending point. The beginning point of faith is believing in God's character, he is who he says. The end point is believing in God's promises; he will do what he says. When we believe that God will fulfill his promises, even though we don't see those promises materializing yet, we demonstrate true faith (see John 20:24-31).
Hebrews 11:1: “… faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen”. Apparently, the biblical “faith” is not the same as it is commonly known, like “I have a strong feeling so I believe it’s such and such, etc.” It’s a belief based on evidence; not a “delusion” or merely “strong belief”. The human mind (spirit) is carnal (hostile) to God. Alone it cannot know God. It needs the Holy Spirit, the Mind, of God. (1 Cor. 2:14; Romans 8:7-9, 16.) Jesus and the Heavenly Father are One in the Holy Spirit, and “we have the mind of Christ” (I Cor. 2:16; Ephesians 2:18.) Before the Pentecost when the Holy Spirit of God becomes generally available to everyone who accepts Jesus as the awaited Messiah (John 7:39), the Apostle Thomas (the “doubter”) said that he would only believe in the risen Christ if he can see it for himself and touch his wounds. Jesus gave him the opportunity he wished for, and then Thomas declares now he believes. But Jesus responded quite interestingly, for he said “blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). Why? Because the fact that someone believes in God without seeing he has faith; it’s the “substance” and the “evidence” that the Holy Spirit of God is in him, and it’s the "evidence" that God the Father is choosing him. (John 6:44; I Cor. 12:3; Romans 8:16; Ephesians 2:18.) So the fact that someone can truly believe in God is by faith and in itself an evidence of God’s existence. Therefore, “… the just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17), and he is “… justified by faith” (Romans 5:1), and "not by work".
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